It's the Hard-Knock Life

PBS / Thirteen (2013)
Director: Joshua Seftel

It’s the Hard-Knock Life is a feature length, primetime PBS documentary that provides an insider’s look at the Tony-nominated revival of the classic musical, Annie. The film documents the production through the lens of three acclaimed theater professionals: Tony Award-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, Tony Award-winning costume designer Susan Hilferty, and Drama Desk Award-winning set designer David Korins. They have been tasked with re-imagining the classic song, “It’s the Hard-Knock Life.” Tension mounts as they work to prepare the young actors for Opening Night.

Watch the entire film.

Watch the ABC World News story on the film.

See Joshua Seftel’s mother critique the film.

Watch an exclusive clip from the film in The Wall Street Journal.

The Huffington Post features adorable raw footage of the orphans finding out they’ve been cast inAnnie.



“It’s hard to imagine even the haters not enjoying [it]. A delightful documentary.”
– The New York Times

“A Must See…A-”
– Entertainment Weekly

“My kind of excitement.”
– Los Angeles Times

“Charming…deftly captures the work, the stumbles, and the joy that goes into that single magic moment.”
– A.V. Club

“This celebration of the creative process could rekindle anyone’s childhood dreams of making it onto the Great White Way.”
– TV Guide

“Engaging…Viewers of all ages will enjoy [it].”
– The Washington Post



New York International Children’s Film Festival

Florida Film Festival

American Documentary Film Festival

Santa Cruz Film Festival